Cheap discounted tickets in hand, family and friends in tow, musical drama and comedy to look forward. But wait, the stomach rumbles. The innards are speaking and they are saying “Don’t be thinking that you’re going to sit through two hours of West End theatre without feeding me first! Now, find me a restaurant that’s walking distance from the stage!” The West End of London eats tourists and shopping freaks alive with its bright light bonanza prices and slop-tray quality, so Fluid has done all the hard work for you and handpicked its Top 10 Best Restaurants.
Image courtesy of Phil Stefans.
Ten Room at Hotel Café Royal
Mayfair / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: British
This isn't just one of the best restaurants in the West End, it's one of the best restaurants in the whole of London. The executive chef has previously worked at The Langham, The Landau and Wiltons, as well as appeared on various Saturday Morning Kitchen episodes. It's easy to see why you're in safe hands here. The menu is troublingly enticing so ask for directions from the staff. They know exactly what you need. This restaurant is the kind of place you come for a special occasion, to get away from it all, but still be in the West End. The Art Deco interior is superb and was apparently modelled on a photograph of the original. Best get your good frock out then.
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
This rooftop restaurant in Soho boasts London's largest Cava Bar with 3-flute 'flights'. Cognac and Cigar Terrace (the menu for which includes, amongst others, a 45-year old Rignaud Soubourin Floriege cognac and the Cohiba Siglo VI Cuban cigar): check. Impeccable Spanish cuisine: check. Haha, look at those poor, depressing shoppers down below on Regent Street struggling with their consumerism. Hey you down there, coo-ee; can you move along please. We're trying to bliss out up here on this cosy roof terrace and you're rather distracting. Toodle-pip!
Asia de Cuba
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: Latin
Fusing the very best in Asian and Cuban cuisine, Asia de Cuba at St Martins Lane is a diner?s delight. A family-style sharing menu of light bites and flavourful dishes makes this West End outpost a must-book. And don?t get us started on the indulgent Mexican doughnuts that will make you want to skip straight to dessert. Top it all off with mojitos made with freshly-pressed sugar cane and you?ll be dreaming of dinner at Asia de Cuba for weeks to come.
Rainforest Cafe London
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: International
Rainforest Cafe is a tropical hideaway in the heart of the West End. This unusual restaurant recreates the sights and sounds of the Amazon Rainforest with the help of stunning special effects such as thunder and lightning storms, tropical rain showers and cascading waterfalls. The restaurant is also home to a cast of astounding, lifelike, animatronic inhabitants including chattering gorillas, a menacing jaguar and our trumpeting elephants. Rainforest Cafe offers a varied menu of American and tropical cuisine made from the freshest ingredients. Combine this imaginative food with the magical scenery and you have a great time out for the whole family.
Massimo Restaurant & Bar
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: Seafood
A fine example of how a new restaurant can impress, even if the food is merely OK. The decor is something to regard with awe and it would be easy to chip away at the vestiges of an evening or an afternoon slouched on the comfortable leather banquettes. The Thames and Embankment are close by, as is Trafalgar Square, so our recommendations for this new Mediterranean restaurant would be aimed squarely at our foreign brothers and sisters, or those who enjoy decent but not outstanding seafood.
Portrait Restaurant & Bar
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
West End - Don't expect culinary genius here and you'll enjoy it fine. Possibly quite a shrewd first-date choice along with the National Portrait Gallery itself simply because the views down Whitehall and the golden spires of Westminster in the distance are a great conversation starter. A great wine list to enjoy not to mention the palpable feeling in the air that you are in the presence of history. These walls know secrets of generations, but they aren't telling. That's just not British.
Mayfair / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Moroccan
Devour classic Moroccan dishes in this seductive restaurant with candlelit tables and exotic furnishings. The fish tagine is heavenly and the silky couscous melts in the mouth. The invitingly plump banquettes make Momo the ideal place to unwind and sample the flavours of North Africa. After dinner, soak up the atmosphere in the adjoining bar, serving a range of delectable cocktails.
DSTRKT Restaurant & Bar
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
Piccadilly Circus -The stylish site includes a club, bar and restaurant with top-quality European cuisine, all featuring cutting edge interior design. Dstrkt is a hot spot destination, offering an evening's experience under one roof. In addition to the restaurant, the separate lounge bar and nightclub feature an impressive interior design by some of the world's leading brands. Within the club is the V.I.P area boasts the world's first bar made from precious stone.
West End / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Criterion retains much of its 130-year-old Grade II listed charm, making it a great venue for a special occasion. Although certainly refined, Criterion and its staff are not in the least bit stuffy making the dining experience more pleasure than pain. Even if you don't care for architecture or history or even the people, the food at Criterion speaks clearly for itself.
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
This restaurant on Soho's Brewer Street is the 2nd London restaurant from Mark Hix, whose other establishments include Hix Oyster & Chop House in Smithfield's Market. The cuisine is the signature British that Mark is renowned for. The exquisite dishes include Grilled Orkney Lobster with garlic butter, Roe Deer Chop with celeriac mash, and Aberdeenshire Porterhouse Steak for two.
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